After one period of pretty boring hockey (with the exception of that first goal) and two where the Panthers actually woke up and played for a while, the Kings secured a much needed 2-1 win in regulation. They also lost the man who is currently their best player on the ice.
And this guy, who I think you'd all agree is pretty important in his own right.
Granted, it's not the devastation the Kings suffered last spring, losing Anze Kopitar to a severe ankle injury. But it certainly doesn't help the plan to get the Kings solidly back into a play-off position either. Maybe these two shouldn't have shaved the moustaches....
The biggest disappointment about the Kings performance was their inability to keep their foot on the gas pedal. After they scored on their second shot of the game, they should have increased the tempo, scored 3 more goals and buried the Panthers by the end of the first period. Instead, they brought the intensity level of their game down to Florida's level and coasted -- until the Panthers showed some life and the Kings started taking penalties. You know how the story goes from there.
Until this team learns to bear down HARD on their opponents, we're going to see the same story in a lot of games. Dean Lombardi talked at the beginning of the season about learning to win. The Kings are still studying up on that concept.
Other post-game thoughts:
- When you're playing a team that makes Kevin Westgarth look REALLY fast, you know it's a slow game. My man gets around the ice pretty well, but he's no Slava Voynov, after all.
- Jose Theodore always looks so lonely out there. I felt bad for him getting scored on so early, but girls love him so I'm sure someone will make him feel better before the night is over.
- Oh, hi Marco Sturm. Glad to see you're back on the ice with more regularity, and finding the net to boot! Don't be sad Quickie won't let you score.
- THIS is how bad things happen in hockey....
- Jonathan Quick was the #1 Star of the Night, stopped 41 shots, had an assist AND almost ate a Panther for dinner. WHAT DOES THIS POOR GUY HAVE TO DO TO GET THE MEDIA TO SAY HE'S AN ELITE GOALTENDER? QUICK FOR VEZINA, DAMMIT!!!!
With two players down, the Kings face their own personal Kryptonite next -- a Saturday afternoon game! Against the "Ole, Ole!" people from the north that speak French. Yay! I hope Jonathan Bernier has a Superman suit underneath those pads....
GO KINGS GO!